Do you own or operate a small or medium-sized business in Maryland, or the Washington, D.C., metro? Do you feel confident that you understand your legal obligations toward your employees? Employment law can be complicated, with state and federal laws that can differ from each other and are subject to change. The problem is particularly complex if your business operates in more than one state, employs contractors, or involves tips or commissions.
Experienced Counsel on Employment Law Issues
At Bromberg Rosenthal LLC, we have been meeting the legal needs of Rockville-area businesses since 1985. You can rely on our experience and thorough knowledge of employment law in the jurisdictions we serve, and expect exceptional client serve from all members of our firm. Especially in cases where a business lacks a formal human resources department, working with our business law attorneys can help you avoid costly disputes.
Understanding Employee Rights and Employer Obligations
Believing in a proactive approach to compliance, our attorneys strive to help our clients understand all of their legal obligations toward their employees. We are prepared to assist with a wide range of employment law matters, including:
- Employment discrimination: Employers may not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, or age. In some jurisdictions, it is also illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Discrimination may occur in matters of hiring, firing, promotion, training and compensation. It can be subtle, and may continue unnoticed or unreported for long periods of time.
- Sexual harassment: This category includes any kind of sexual behavior that is unwelcome and/or inappropriate for the workplace, such as verbal, visual or physical harassment. Most claims involve allegations of quid pro quo, or of a hostile work environment.
- Affirmative action: Affirmative action plans are intended to counteract discrimination against women and minorities by setting standards for their recruitment and promotion in a particular workplace or industry. A proper plan must have flexible goals rather than strict quotas.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This act is intended to eliminate discrimination against individuals with handicaps. This act has been modified and expanded by court rulings, and what constitutes a violation can change frequently, varies from state to state, and is open to interpretation. To avoid disputes and discrimination claims, it is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney.
- The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): This act allows employees to take unpaid time off work to care for family members. Its requirements are very detailed, and many employers and employees do not fully understand it.
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN): Employers with more than 100 employees must notify employees about large-scale layoffs or plant closings at least 60 days in advance. This gives employees time to find other work or training opportunities.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OHSA): OSHA inspections occur in response to a complaint or accident; employers should know that the inspection should be limited to only the location or area of your business that is related to the complaint or accident.
- Whistleblower litigation: Employees who inform a government agency about a legal violation in their workplace, or who are participating in government investigations of a violation, are protected by law.
- Wrongful discharge: While most employees are employed "at will," and may be fired at any time or for any reason, there are important exceptions, and employers must take care to understand and respect them.
This collection of acts and laws may feel like far too much for a small business owner to handle — which is why it is so important to work with knowledgeable attorneys. While the goal is always to avoid litigation, our employment lawyers are also seasoned, highly successful trial attorneys — if an employment dispute does arise, we're prepared to handle it.
We find that the better we know our clients, the better we understand their unique needs and concerns. While many clients choose to work with us in a general counsel relationship, we are also available to deal with specific issues as they arise.
Choose Experience — Choose Bromberg Rosenthal LLC
As a full-service firm whose business lawyers handle a wide range of issues for our corporate clients, we're prepared to help you understand how employment law is related to other aspects of your business, such as corporate bylaws or protection of trade secrets. We handle all types of employment contracts and agreements, including contractor and non-competition agreements.
If you need the assistance of an experienced employment lawyer, please contact Bromberg Rosenthal LLC. We can be reached by phone at 301-251-6200 or by email.